I was perusing Pinterest and found a link,.  It’s a list of rules written by a Dad towards other Dad’s who have daughters.  I was curious, what kind of “rules are there?  I read each rule and loved every word of every sentence I read.  It’s made me reflect on my childhood and the childhood I strive to give my daughter, and what our “rules” would be for experiencing life with our daughter.

It’s no secret that my dad wasn’t around, ever, really.  My mom raised my sister and I beautifully.  She did her best to make us feel like we weren’t “missing out” on having a father figure.  I sometimes can’t help but wonder what it’d be like to have that daddy-daughter relationship.  Now that I have a daughter, I find myself taking a step back to allow Ella and her Daddy to form the bond that I know will forever shape Ella.  Sadly, I will never really understand what that relationship is like.  But I know for Ella and Jeff, it’s something incredibly special.

I absolutely think that mothers and daughters have a bond instantly.  I think Daddy’s and daughters have to form one over time.  I’ve always wanted to give Jeff and Ella time to create a bond only the two of them will share.  I don’t know if it’s the “right” thing to do, but in my heart, I feel it is.  Watching Ella and Jeff play together melts my heart and brings a tear to my eye.  It’s beautiful watching the two of them enjoy the smallest of things together; walking the dogs, Jeff succumbing to Ella’s request of painting their toenails, playing with sidewalk chalk or having dance parties in our den.  Things that I think are small, but I know have a tremendous impact on Ella…and Jeff.  Don’t get me wrong, Ella and I do plenty together; we laugh and play often and Jeff and I make family time a priority.  However, Ella doesn’t look up at me like I’m some sort of super-hero, like she does Jeff, and I’m okay with that.

The other day, Ella and a few of my family members went to a pumpkin patch, sans Jeff as he had to work at the last-minute.  Ella rode a horse, which was a huge deal!  She was so proud of herself and we talked about it all day.  When we finally got home and I was tucking Ella in for her nap, she looked at me and said “Daddy will be so proud I rode the horse.”  I was shocked that she could already feel and articulate that her Daddy would be proud of her.  It was a beautiful moment for me to experience.  I don’t recall my Dad ever telling me he was proud of me, much less, me ever stating my Dad would be proud of me for doing something.  So, for Ella to say this, at 3 years old was amazing and powerful.  All the doubt I had in my mind about our parenting skills dissipated and made me realize that we’re on the right track.  My hope for Ella is to always feel like we’re proud of her.  No matter how “small” her accomplishment.  I think that’s the #1 rule on our list, for now.

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